Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day...

There are many firsts coming our way these days. Like having my first soda here with no ice (they serve drinks with no ice in Germany, I forgot), first time back and driving with no restrictions on the autobahn, first time my daughter was hit on by a man right in front of me (ok young man...he's a waiter in our hotel restaurant with obviously no sense), finding out for the first time that power of attorneys aren't good for finding out info about your husband's pay, getting our first key to our off base house, and of course the first day of school (woo hoo...I just had a party for one in my mind LOL). Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys pics of the house. We are making it our personal project as well, because while it is big and in a perfect neighborhood, it has some potential for bigger and better things and so I am diving in with home projects right away. Things like painting, do it yourself art pieces, some new flooring upstairs, new light fixtures in some of the rooms, and window treatments. We don't move in until the 14th so I plan on getting some of these done while it is empty. I can't wait....

Check out the new Isla Command Center :o)

view from the front door entrance...

our baby fireplace (I can already see the fire going during Christmas Eve)

our living room(s)

kitchen (I plan on making a dining nook near the left corner)

the office (I will have a futon in there for sleepover guests as well)

the laundry room

the downstairs bathroom...(i love the cute pull-out mirror in here)

the stairs to our three basement rooms (we are making one for George's tool/fix-it shop, one as a dance room/studio complete with mirrored wall, and the other will be storage most likely)

upstairs landing (the phone is to buzz people in our front door)...

two of the kids' rooms (I think JD and Saige, I say think b/c as you can see they are connected kinda...if I can make sure they are good with that, it will stay that way, otherwise it could end up being the boys' rooms)

the master bedroom

Teage's room

Upstairs bathroom (I don't see anyone standing up in this one...except maybe Teagie)

view of our village from the balcony


Another big first was the start of school. All of this anxiety, and pleading, and the lightening PCS move was for this day. So my kids could start school with everyone else. I got everything put in motion Friday (as soon as we had the house lease in our hands) and they were good to go for today. I took them both to get their hair 'did' as well yesterday. JD had his "first" appt with a beauty salon instead of the old barber shop George always takes him to. I am proud to say that he won't be going back with dad. They actually styled my boy's hair and it looked great. Saige got a trim and bangs. They both looked sharp this morning and it caused a tear to form in my eye seeing how big they have become. I can't believe I have a middle schooler and a high schooler...what's more, I can't believe I have 3 year old on top of it...I need a massage! JD was like "see ya mom", when I walked them down and Saige was more like "can you wait til I know where I am going?" She was more nervous because of the friend thing, but she is so easy-going and likable...she probably will come home with 20 peeps' numbers. Here are my grown kids on their first day....

Teage couldn't be excluded from the school pic montage...

Miss you all and talk to you soon!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wilkommen to Germany

And so it begins...

OK I figured I better start posting about our arrival before I forget it all. Coming to GE was far less complicated than leaving my anxiety level should fall under normal range as I type this all out :o)

We arrived on the 17th (Mon.) at about 12noon. Because we were so last minute (which means no one was there to pick us up at the airport), we had to go through the procedure that most all new baby Army soldiers go through when they arrive in country. I hated it! If I didn't have three kids and 10 bags, maybe I would have loved it....but um NO, it sucked! We waited for some Army dude to check EVERYONE'S forms before he led us to an empty hallway to dump our carts (yes we were the only people that had 3). Let me just give you a little history on the carts by the way, they are the self-braking know, the kind where you have to grasp the lever to make it roll and if you let it go, it brakes. Ok anyway, the airport uses those big a$$ things on the escalators. Forget the nasty look I got at the Wellington Green Mall for hiking my mini umbrella stroller on the escalator in FL.....I'm talking 100lb luggage carts (when empty) mobbing up on an escalator. So FINE, I am trusting this guy who has obviously done this more than once. He says, "roll it onto the steps and just LET GO" we all did just that. In single formation (you know how the military likes that), carts started flying up the escalator. I think I watched about 5 go up before I felt ok with going. Push and brake I went and in seconds I was gliding upwards. HOWEVER.....nobody gave the class about what happens when your tires don't catch coming off and you become a sandwich for your cart and the cart behind you. WTF!!?? Mine wouldn't roll off the escalator and the front wheels just kept spinning. Meanwhile, the person's cart behind me started to push me into it....again 100lbs each empty (did I mention neither were empty). I screamed when I felt my leg begin to crush and George came running (like my hero or something) to grab my cart....luckily, I only sustained a bruise (go figure) on my shin. But, I could have been killed right there. That happened within the first 30 minutes of being in Frankfurt....hee hee!

After we parked our carts, we headed to some weird room where they had wrestling playing and random people sleeping in chairs. They gave us a brief after about 30 minutes (I am dying at this point because we are all too grimy, starving, and TIRED to be waiting on some BS). We were then instructed to watch a video on sexual harassment (seriously??), then they took us downstairs with carts in hand to the bus loading area. (I saw a McD's on the way and made the whole group stop....too bad). Our bus to K-Town left about 20 minutes later and I slept the whole way there. I was then awakened by some civilian guy asking us if we were the Isla' Yeah! So we got off the bus to see 3 Soldiers from George's unit there to pick us up. (Apparently the dude at the airport called and warned them we were coming so that there would be someone there...but, I later found out they had no idea we were coming). One was our Sponsor and the other two were there to help get our luggage. We then ventured to the Barbarossa Hof (hotel) to get a room. It oozed Germany....and it all came flooding back! See what I mean....

It was nice at first, they put us in two rooms though and the big kids had to stay alone. I wasn't happy about that since the rooms did not connect and some other guy's room was right there with us. So we asked to be moved as soon as a Family Suite came open. They did just that the next day and the room they gave us was NASTY!! I guess it was in the older part of the hotel and full of mold! (Who knew Germany had mold like that) was smelly and awful. I didn't even feel safe in there. We left there as soon as one of the other hotels opened up. We are now temp residents of the See Hotel in Gelterswoog. The have Family Suite Apartments and it is much nicer. Just look at this view....

*view from the restaurant via Saige :o) *

The lake always has some action going on (whether it be motorized boats, canoeing, swimming, fishing,etc). We decided to venture out one day and walk that trail that goes ALL AROUND the lake. It was so cool. The kids were happy to soak up all that surrounded them. And I finally got my cool, brisk breeze I was waiting is our mini adventure:

How cute are they? I have a painting of the Black Forest that has couple walking on it that looks just like this...

And you know I cannot post anything about Germany without adding some yummy food pics. I had flashbacks of not only the brotchen (bread), jagerschnitzel (pork cutlet with mushroom sauce), and pommes frits (fries)....but I soon became re-familiarized with the little things, like the ketchup. First, I forgot you had to pay for extra ketchup here. That's because the packets are HUGE!!! And yes, it is the Queen of the pommes....(this is a regular sized saucer by the way)

And here is the delicious Jagerschnitzel I practically had to run over people to get...

And last, but not least, the Tiramisu my heart yearned for....

There is more to come....but I had to share some of the first couple days so I didn't feel that far behind!! Love ya and wish you all were here....(I'm only a passport away, just sayin')


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm an Inspiration??

I have some mini news....

I was featured on the I Faces website today under the inspiration spotlight post. What a gas!!! I wonder if they realize that I am just a mere picture snapper with no mad skills?? Oh well, it sure was cool to get the props either way. Check it out...

I Heart Faces...Inspirational Habu

Love ya....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 FL!

You can't even imagine how much I need to catch up on with the blog! I have tons of pics, lots to say (as always), and a few "what'd you learn" posts to come in the future!

SO, let me get right to it!! After our hellish flight to DC,we got in our rental van (not full size SUV like we had reserved, but at this point......EFF IT), we drove straight to West Palm and arrived around 12 midnight! I about died when I walked through the threshold to find Thyme's two oldest kids!! They were gigantic...for real. GJ looks like he could almost be a MAN and Starr reminds me sooo much of Saige when she was at that age....beautiful young girl emerging into a young lady....but still with that tomboy-ish persona we moms love to hold onto in our girls. The kids immediately sparked their every own convo and it was like no time had passed. Anyway, after the tears and long hugs to my sister and Popo, we all sat and small-talked, staring at each other like we weren't sure if we were in a dream or not. It was definitely a "moment" to say the least. Finally, we went to bed (we were BEAT) but I soon found myself opening my eyes after only 7 minutes to the sound of Teage screaming "All Aboard" as he guided Thomas the Tank Engine along the play table that was in the bedroom we stayed in. Damn kid slept the whole way down... he was WIDE AWAKE!!! I'm sure he planned this on purpose....

After sleeping about 1.5 hours for the night, I then found the morning sun glaring in on me (at this point I'm thinking...was this a set-up?) so I said what the heck and decided to get this party started...sleep will come later right?? We only had one week in FL, so we needed to use our time wisely. So "up" we were and by 7:30am all children had eaten breakfast and were in the pool...ALL OF THEM....I'm talking 8 kids whooping it up at 7:30 in the morning poolside!! It was awesome. You have got to love this....

The little ones...Teage, Bren Bren & Markie

(Oh, so I was going on and on about Markie looking like someone famous, but I couldn't put my finger on it....until now! Doesn't he look like Joseph Gordon Levitt??...he's so cute! Here's a pic of him to compare...I'm just sayin')

G & J

Katie & Saige

Starr baby and T

GJ (my fave pic of the whole trip)


Playing Chicken (P.S. my son has a ba donk-a-donk, WTF?)

I told you they were big!!

Teage didn't waste any time getting all up in Brenna's face competing to see who was the alpha kid in the house. They both could have stood some more quality time together on the trip I think. I say they both think they are WAY too cute for their own good....and dang it they are right!! TOO CUTIE!!

We decided that night we would do our traditional "crab leg" feast and with that I got to finally see my cousin Jennifer and her two babies. It had been way too long since we saw each other...never again will we let that happen. Anyway....feast your eyes on crab night!!!

Another funny moment concerned the stairs at Thyme's house. I swear she had the carpet laced with some form of Ambien!! Both my boys took to them like a crackhead to a dollar. These we taken on consecutive nights...

So that was just a 24 hour period of what went down...I won't go on about every little detail of what we did (well, because even though I know my peeps love me and my blog...overkill is overkill) are the highlights, meaning pics mostly:

SHOPPING....amazingly though, it wasn't for me (WTF??!!) damn kids!!!
EATING OUT....duh (I had greek twice, Arby's twice, Chick-Fil-A, and a couple restaurants, but who's counting?)
HANG W/THE KIDS...Above all, I was more than thrilled that I got to spend time with my nieces and nephews. They are the best and all I wanted to do was spoil them rotten and hug them all the days! I hope they felt both...
PARTY W/THE PEEPS...nuff said!! I will get down to the reunion BBQ later...all I will say is that it was GOOD TIMES!!

Oh, I forgot to say that Ebeth came down in between all the fun and I got to see Leila and Kai as well as meet baby Rayah. She is a DOLL and also a lil rambunctious like Thyme and I's youngest. What is it with the last babies?? I am now starting to think the real test of motherhood comes with that last push. Literally!! But like I said can't hate on the cuteness!!


Check out more of our highlights...

This is how I like Smokey Bones




Saige & Kai

Aunt Thyme (aka Seester)

Jennifer Poo Poo...(I had to)

Me & Chris


I am so glad I got to see my familia....they made us feel so welcomed and missed. I am trying to finagle using our free round trip tickets to go back for another short visit during winter break when we go see the familia in AZ. I think they will only fly us as far as FL anyway for our COT leave. More of that info to come as we get settled.

Back to the Party with the Peeps. I couldn't have had a better time on our last full day there + I had boiled peanuts.

Cousin Jennifer set up the best spot for the BBQ and Mike grilled all the food (he rocked)...

...and they fronted the cost (she thinks I forgot probably, but I didn't...her reward will come soon enough...that, my friend, is called paying it forward). Anyway, it was a blast!!! I am so glad the people that came, came. It was nice to see my old buddies. We didn't skip a beat and got right back into our old friendships. Thank you to them for coming and for making us feel welcome back at our old stomping ground. I know, I wish you were there (no really, you do) :o) LOL!!
Ebeth (aka my other Seester)

I have so much more to tell you all, but like I always say..."you gotta crawl before you walk"!! Next, we get into the Germany posts. I already have multiple pics w/narration to spill, so get prepared!! I'll be in touch and as always....Love Ya!!